Like many of us, I grew up on John Hughes movies. But while some friends claim Breakfast Club or Sixteen Candles as their favorite Hughesian tale, and others swear by Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Pretty in Pink, I have an undeniable soft spot for 1987’s Some Kind of Wonderful.
Written by Hughes and directed by Howard Deutch (the same combo that did the previous year’s Pretty in Pink), SKOW captures a specific flavor of teen love-triangle angst: there’s the sensitive artist, Keith (Eric Stoltz), who lives on the wrong side of the tracks but is hopelessly infatuated with Amanda (Lea Thompson), the pretty popular girl who dates the loathsome rich Hardy (Craig Scheffer). As Keith schemes his way into Amanda’s life, he’s completely oblivious to the feelings of Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), his awesome toughie tomboy best friend, who loves only three things in life: herself, her drums, and him.
There’s so much great stuff in this movie: the music (miss you March Violets!), the style (Miley Cyrus’s new ‘do seems downright Watts-like… though she was not alive when this movie came out. Sigh), and the maybe-best-makeout-in-a-garage scene ever. But there was one thing that always bugged me (obligatory 25-year-old spoiler alert). A subplot of the film is Keith’s hard work at the garage, and the growing college fund his father is so proud of. Keith takes the money and buys Amanda diamond earrings instead. The final scene of the film is him giving them to Watts. “You look good wearing my future,” he tells her.
Even in 1987 my pre-teen self was troubled by this earrings business and Keith’s nest egg. Wouldn’t Watts, the girl who would only want the very best for him, want him to go to art school and get out of that town run by the Hardys of the world?
Turns out Mary Stuart Masterson has similar feelings about the matter. “All anyone says to me a quarter of a century later is, I love that part where you get the earrings,” she told EW when we met up for our annual Reunions issue. “It’s weird! This materialistic aspect is not who Watts is. She’d have walked away victorious… right to the pawn shop.”
So I think the next time I watch Some Kind of Wonderful I will pretend that’s exactly what happens once the screen fades to black. But I’m curious, are there other movies out there that you absolutely love except for the ending? By all means, sound off below!
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